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Toxic ND: Fracking related spills cause pervasive soil, water contamination

fracking related spills In situ burn at a crude oil spill on a wetland in Mountrail County, North Dakota. A recent Duke University study found widespread contamination of water and soil, even years after a site was cleaned. (Image: USFWS via Flickr)

Brine spills from oil development in western North Dakota are releasing toxins into soils and waterways, sometimes at levels exceeding federal water quality standards, scientists reported Wednesday. Samples taken from surface waters affected by waste spills in recent years in the state’s Bakken oilfield region turned up high levels of lead, ammonium, selenium and other contaminants, Duke University researchers said. ...

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Rail industry’s improved tank cars failing to prevent spills

POWELLTON HOLLOW – In the short time since the derailment of a CSX train here hauling 109 tankers of crude oil last month, a number of similar accidents have occurred across the nation, despite federal and industry officials’ assurances that transporting the hazardous liquid is safer than ever. On Saturday, the derailment cleanup was complete. A mile or so from the ...

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How secure are ND’s pipelines and drilling sites?

A number of spills in North Dakota’s oil patch have got headlines recently, but at least one company is a little suspicious as to how they came to happen. “Hess spokesman John Roper said employees found wide-open valves on saltwater storage tanks on two well locations 3 miles apart,” the Bismarck Tribune reported. “We call that suspicious,” Roper told the ...

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Oil, gas regulators to discuss rules for flood safety

DENVER — Colorado regulators are holding a public meeting on proposed new rules to keep oil and gas wells safer after the 2013 Front Range flood was blamed for spills. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission staff will meet with interested parties on Tuesday. The commission is scheduled to vote on the proposals on March 2. The proposals include ...

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Pennsylvania inspectors key to Marcellus regulation


Sean D. Hamill | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Inspectors are the front line of the state’s effort to ensure development in the Marcellus is done right and with the least environmental impact possible. The Post-Gazette’s analysis of every fine the state levied against Marcellus drillers from 2005 through June 1 this year shows that a third of spills (59 of 179) were ...

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Pa. system for tracking compliance at Marcellus Shale well sites in disrepair

Sean D. Hamill | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette A Post-Gazette analysis of DEP records provides a detailed look at the Marcellus Shale industry and its regulation, showing the serious problems in spotting well-site incidents, record keeping, and hiring adequate numbers of inspectors; it also shows how the industry has responded to accidents and surrounding publicity. This is the first of three parts. ...

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Negative publicity does more damage to Marcellus Shale drilling companies than fines

Sean D. Hamill | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The state Department of Environmental Protection fines drillers to try to get them to change behavior, but to giant Marcellus Shale drilling companies, $10,000 or even $100,000-plus fines are inconsequential. For them, the worst part of a well-site accident is bad publicity. “The fine is nowhere near as damaging as the press coverage and ...

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Oil and gas spill report for Sept. 15

Staff Report | Greeley Tribune, Colo. The following spills were reported to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in the past two weeks. Information is based on Form 19, which operators must fill out detailing the leakage/spill events. Any spill release which may impact waters of the state must be reported as soon as practical. Any spill of five ...

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Canada revamps pipeline safety rules ahead of new projects


By Julie Gordon VANCOUVER, May 14 (Reuters) – Canada unveiled new rules on Wednesday to enhance pipeline safety and spill response, ahead of the development of new projects proposed to carry crude from Alberta’s oil sands to coastal ports for export. The new legislation will give Canada’s energy regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), more power to enforce compliance on safety ...

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